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Ready to tackle the world's greatest challenges?

The 17 United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) were established to create a better world, end poverty, fight inequality and take action on climate change. Behind the Goals sit a number of targets to guide governments, businesses and society to work together to build a better, sustainable future for all.

Meeting the Goals by 2030 requires nothing short of a worldwide effort to transform our economic, social, political and financial systems that govern our societies today. To date, progress has been uneven and the global response has lacked an ambitious approach to implementing the SDGs. As a result, the most vulnerable people and countries continue to suffer.

In partnership with the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) and with support from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)*, Seneca's International Mobility Office is pleased to host a free 2-day virtual training event focused on educating Seneca students on the history and structure of the SDGs and challenging them to develop action plans tackling one or more of the 17 SDGs through a 24-hour case competition.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get involved and work together to build a better future!

Seneca e-mail required

What to expect...

A review of the history of sustainable development, the structure of the SDGs (17 goals, 169 targets, 231 indicators), and examples of each of the 17 SDGs implemented by a variety of stakeholders.

A chance to engage with a UN official. This person will share how their agency/department underwent a transformation to implement holistic SDGs in partnership with its communities.

Access to study/work abroad opportunities at our first-ever Global Opportunities Service Fair. You’ll meet our partner organizations and learn about exciting opportunities for study/work abroad that will help broaden your educational horizons and professional experiences.

An opportunity to strengthen your skills in developing action plans and devising solutions to SDGs challenges. Working with peers over 24-hours, you will be challenged through our case competition to problem-solve on a SDGs case study.

Participating students will receive a Certificate from our partner organization, FES, in recognition of successful completion of the program. This certificate can be added to your LinkedIn profile to demonstrate your training and engagement with the SDGs.

Eligible students will also receive 2 credits toward the SDG Students Program Certificate, 1 for the Education activity and 1 for the Solutions activity.

Jointly developed by SDSN Youth, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the SDG Academy, the SDG Students Program Certificate is a non-credit certificate to encourage students to learn about, engage with, and take action on the SDGs. For more information on how to obtain this certificate please visit the Seneca SDG Student Hub website.

Seneca e-mail required

Case Competition

Full details of the case competition will be presented to student teams three (3) days prior to the start of the event. At this time you will also be notified of your assigned team and team members as well as your assigned mentor. You will first have the opportunity to meet with your team and mentor on Feb 27 during the training event.

Following the training event, you will have 24-hours as a team to develop your action plans and devise solutions to the case study. The results will be presented in a 3-minute video created by your team with support from your mentor. Video submissions are due on by 14:00 EST on Mar 1. Detailed instructions on how to submit your videos will be provided by email within 2-hours from the end of the training event.

Video submissions will be adjudicated by panels of experts in the field. Panels will be composed of both Seneca staff and external professionals. Adjudications will take place from Mar 2-4. Winning teams will be announced on Mar 5.

Our 2-day training event will take place virtually through our partner's platform, Hopin. For more on Hopin please visit How to use Hopin as an attendee.

The top 3 case competition winning teams will receive travel grants/vouchers to help offset the cost of travel, when it is permitted to do so. Certain conditions and restrictions apply.

Who can attend?

The virtual training event and case competition is open to all current Seneca students, in any academic program, at any level. We specifically welcome and encourage participation from First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis, Persons with Disability and Low-Income students.

If you are not a student but interested in this event, we may have an opportunity for you to participate. Seneca staff or external organization members who are interested in this event, can contact Ina Agastra at ina.agastra@senecacollege.ca to inquire about participation.

How will it take place?

Our 2-day training event will take place virtually through our partner's platform, Hopin. For more on Hopin please visit How to use Hopin as an attendee.

The case competition following the training event will also take place virtually and will be supported by dedicated and experienced mentors. Each student team will be responsible for establishing the most effective modes of collaboration amongst themselves. Additional guidance and support will be provided prior to and during the case competition through the mentors and event organizers.

February 27, 2021

10:00-10:05: Land Acknowledgement & Smudging Ceremony

10:05-10:10: Opening Remarks & Event Overview

10:10-11:30: Session 1 SDGs Advocacy and Local Implementation

Steve Lee, Founder of Foundation for Environmental Stewardship & Capacity Building officer, UNMGCY

11:30-11:50: Session 2  UN official’s stories

11:50-12:20: Session 3 Live Q&A

Steve Lee & UN Guest Speaker

12:20-12:30: Wrap-up

12:30-13:30: Global Opportunities Service Fair / Lunch Break

13:30-14:15: Team Introductions Session

February 28, 2021

10:00-10:15: Networking Session

10:15-11:15: Case Competition Introduction & Skills Training Workshop

11:15-12:15: Panel Discussion with Live Q&A

Charles A. Hopkins, UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability & Jon Beale, Manager of the Sustainable Development Student Network (SDSN) of Canada

Moderated by Mary Vaughan, Dean of Seneca Business

12:30-14:00: Team Planning Session

Teams will have 24-hours following the event to work on their cases. Video submissions are due on March 1, 2021 @ 14:00 EST.

Guest Speakers

Steve Lee

Steve Lee is a 28-year-old climate change activist, a policy advocate to the United Nations, and a global speaker. He is the Executive Director of FES (Foundation for Environmental Stewardship) and its 3% Project, which mobilizes 1,000,000 Canadian youth – that’s 3% of Canada – through 4 national tours across 400 schools. It provides youth-friendly and holistic education on climate change and empowers them to take action on solving climate change in their local communities today. Steve is currently serving as the Capacity Building Officer in the Secretariat of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY), the UN General Assembly-mandated space. Steve is personally trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader, featured on news channels, blogs, and newspapers, and a University of Toronto graduate of Physiology and Human Biology.

Bruce Knotts

Mr. Bruce Knotts is the chair of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and former US Diplomat.

Born and raised in California, Mr. Knotts earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Pepperdine University and his Master’s Degree in International Education from the Monterey Institute of International Studies; both in California. Bruce was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia and worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia and on a World Bank contract in Somalia, before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984. Bruce had diplomatic assignments in Greece, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia, where he was Deputy Chief of Mission. While in Cote d’Ivoire, Bruce served as the Regional Refugee Coordinator for West Africa covering all 16 nations of West Africa from Mauritania to Nigeria, but focusing on the refugees from the conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia and later in Cote d’Ivoire itself. In 2004, Bruce was elected to the Board of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA). Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and joined the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office as its Executive Director at the beginning of 2008.

Charles Hopkins

Charles Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University serving the UN Global Education 2030 Agenda with research and in coordinating two global networks: the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) and the #IndigenousESD research network focusing on the education of Indigenous youth. Hopkins is also Advisor to the Global Network of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD associated with UN University, and Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute on ESD in Beijing, China.

Jon Beale

Jon Beale is the Manager of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) of Canada, hosted at the University of Waterloo. SDSN Canada is part of a global SDSN movement to build a network of universities, colleges, and knowledge institutions working together to create practical solutions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Jon’s experience comes from a variety of community and economic development roles throughout his career. This includes starting new agricultural businesses with farmer cooperatives in Zambia, leading tourism and climate change research with Inuit and Métis communities in Labrador, and working with municipal leaders throughout North America to identify and highlight economic opportunities with clear pathways for action. Jon’s academic background is in Economics and International Development, with degrees from Queen’s University and the London School of Economics.

Mary Vaughan

Mary Vaughan is the Dean of Business Seneca in Toronto, Canada and Co-Chair for Seneca’s Sustainability Committee. Mary comes from Newfoundland and Labrador where she was an earth scientist before finding her passion in higher education. Mary has taught in areas of Geographical Information Systems, Economic Geology as well as Business. With over 21 years in post-secondary, Mary is proud to be Dean one of Canada’s leading business schools and is passionate about student success, student development and sustainability within business.

Mary volunteers on many committees such as Accreditation of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Governance Committee and founded ACBSP4Change, which supports secondary schools globally who have financial needs.

Register now for the opportunity to network, converge and collaborate with peers, learn about the SDGs, receive expert mentorship to tackle some of the world's toughest challenges, and identify future opportunities for engagement through our study/work abroad programs! Hurry, don't miss out!

Seneca e-mail required

*This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program, designed and administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada.

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